Vicar, Rev. CHARLES VERNON, A.K.C.
Churchwardens, Mr. T. MORGAN, Parkhill Lodge, Whitecroft. Mr. S. R. Miles, Woodside, Bream.
Sundays 8 HOLY COMMUNION (Said)
10 HOLY COMMUNION (Sung)
3 CHILDREN’S SERVICE
Weekdays HOLY COMMUNION. Tuesday at 8.
Wed. & Thurs. at 7
Saints’ Days at 7.30.
EVENSONG daily at 6.30. (Sung at 7 p.m. on Wed.)
CHOIR PRACTICE. Wednesdays: Boys and Girls at 7.30. Adults 8 p.m.
BAPTISMS: CHURCHINGS: WEDDINGS: BURIALS
by arrangement with the Vicar.
FROM THE PARISH REGISTER
July 6.—Alison Gail Hoare, Dunelm, New Road.
June 25.—Ronald William McBride (Parkend) and Nancy Davies (The Eaves).
June 26.—Elizabeth Teague of 7, Parkend Road aged 83.
THE VICAR'S LETTER
My dear friends,
I think that there is a great deal to be learnt from the birds and beasts among whom we live, here in the country.
Not only In the country, I or you have only to go to any bombed town to see amazing examples of patience and courage in the flower-world. I don’t know their names, but as well as the grasses, there are several kinds of flower which managed to grow on sites when bombs had entirely removed the houses, and, in a good many cases, these were in streets where formerly there had been no flowers at all— just houses and asphalt yards—and I know of no naturalist who can tell for certain how the seeds got there, or how the flowers managed to grow in such unpromising surroundings.
But I am thinking of birds, today, and I want to mention one which can set a great example to us church people.
It is my little duck. I bought her and a couple of drakes last summer. The drakes used to make a lot of fuss and noise and bustle, and have gone into the pot long ago. (I don’t know if there is any moral in that!). But the little duck remained, and on January 27th she laid her first egg. I have now had her almost six months, and she has not failed to lay an egg every day since then. She makes no fuss. She is grateful for simple food, and water, and space to move about. But she never lets her master down.
And I believe that there is a lesson for us. Our Master supplies us with all we need; and all He asks of us is that we shall go on faithfully, day after day, producing good fruit. You may ask “how?”, but I think we all know. If we were all always grateful for all He gives, if we were always regular in saying our prayers every day, and going to church every Sunday, our lives would be happier, and the world a better place.
August is holiday time, and we give the teachers and children a rest from Sunday school, and are not very surprised if we find rather less people in church on Sunday, I hope most of you will be able to go away for a holiday, and that it will refresh you in body and mind. But may I remind you that Bream is not the only place with a church, so I hope that, wherever you go, you will find time on Sunday to join in worship at the church there, and pause each day to thank God for all His good gifts.
With all good wishes. Yours sincerely in Our Lord,
Charles Vernon, vicar.
THE STORY OF BREAM CHURCH
This month, I am making a digression from the story of the church, to write about the school. Its origins are rather mysterious According to the manuscript book, from which I have quoted most of this series, and which was collected together by the Rev’d. E. F. Eales fifty years ago, I quote as follows:— “It is understood that a Mrs. Gough gave a sum of £50, the interest to be applied to teaching twelve poor children of the tything. £2/l0s. is annually paid out of property belonging to Lord Dunraven, called the C1earwell estate, to the clerk of the chapelry of Bream, who in consideration teaches twelve poor children of Bream. This is generally supposed to be Mrs.Gough’s charity, but Lord Dunraven has no document to explain the grounds of the supposition.”
The document, from which the above extract is taken, appears to have been lost. Mr. Eales leaves no further record of it, nor does the date appear. It must have applied to a very long time ago, if the teacher was satisfied with £2/l0s a year for teaching 12 children!
But in these days, when we take it for granted that every child in the country will be provided with a school and decent education under Act of Parliament, we are apt to forget that the Church stood alone in the old days, in providing education and all other social services, and that it is only in comparatively recent times that Parliament and local councils have taken their proper responsibility in such matters. Today it is a happy state that Church and State unite so successfully In. carrying on the work which the Church began.
It is further recorded that Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Batten, clerk of Bream Church, kept the village charity school for 55 years, till she died in 1839— so there was a school as early as 1784, though probably in Mrs. Batten’s own house, not on its own premises.
Recently Mr. Ralph Williams sent me an original document, dated June 20th, 1812, which he found among Bream Charity papers, and which is interesting. I quote a part of it:—“The Revd. Mr. Birt having suggested that a sunday school .(*) might with great advantage be built in Bream, I felt anxious to assist in effecting so benevolent an object. Accordingly it was mentioned to several of the most respectable inhabitants, who promised to promote it.
The inhabitants of Bream and Its neighbourhood are earnestly requested to subscribe liberally to this establishment, by which the youth of both sexes will be instructed in religious and useful learning. Besides contributing zealously in proportion to their means, it must be recollected that personal attendance in rotation will be essential in order to encourage the children and observe their proficiency.”
*(Probably this did not mean “sunday school” as we use the words today, but a school for teaching, reading, writing, arithmetic, etc., as well as the Christian religion.)
The document is signed by George Ridout and twenty others, promising from 5/- to a guinea each. The names are mostly familiar, Kear, Preest, James, Evans, Cox, Hewlett, Hathaway, Batten, Birt, etc. (though Verelst, Ridout and Packer are stranger today)
There is not room to add. more this month, but further notes about the schools will be printed next month, Meanwhile I shall be very interested if any readers with long memories can help me fill up gaps, and continue this story from 1839.
CHOIR AND SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTINGS
We have planned two outings this summer. For the choir, there will be another evening party to the theatre a (Cheltenham, but the younger members of the choir, who are not also in Sunday school, have the option to go with the Sunday school outings instead. Some, of course, are entitled to go to both! The date of the theatre outing depends on choice of programme and availability of seats, and the members will be informed in due course.
The Sunday school outing is planned for Thursday, August 11th, and we shall again go to Barry Island At present 110 adults and children have booked seats, so we can look forward to a bigger outing than we have had for some years. We hope it will also be as happy, and that the weather will be kind.
Teas have been booked at Rowe’s cafe. Coaches will meet at the church. There will be celebration of Holy Communion at 7.30, at which it is hoped that as many as possible, who have been confirmed, will attend. There will also be a service at 9.15 for everybody, at which we shall sing a hymn and ask God’s blessing on the outing. Coaches are due to leave the church at 9.30.
Glancing through the Parish Magazine of January 1867, it appears that 51 people were baptized In Bream Church in 1866. Records show only 24 in 1946 (80 years later), 23 in 1947, and 35 in 1948. It can hardly be true today less children are born in the village than eighty years ago, for the number of houses and the population must have grown considerably. Yet how sad it would be if parents are neglecting their first duty to bring the baby, which God has given to them, to His House as soon as possible in order that the child may be made a member of His Holy Church. Baptisms can take place on any Sunday, by arrangement with the Vicar.
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